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Old 02-22-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default Grain mill?

My question is when to get a grain mill and which one to consider. I am a beginning brewer and only have two PM brews under my belt. However, on one of those, I ordered pre-milled grain and then couldn't brew for a month - far less than ideal, and I haven't tasted that brew yet. I suppose it will be ok, but not as good as it could have been.

If I get a mill, I can keep the grain for a much longer time and don't have to worry if something comes up and I have to delay brewing for a week or two.

Barley Crusher, Monster Mill, Malt Mill. Are there others?

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Old 02-22-2009, 05:14 PM   #2
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I'm perfectly pleased with my Barley Crusher, though I've not tried any of the others.

The two real benefits for having a mill are (a) a consistent crush so you can get your efficiency dialed in...fewer surprises, and (b) you can buy grain in bulk and crush it as you need it...especially for grains that you may only use a few ounces of at a time. No more having to buy a pound of crushed Special B and then tossing 12 ounces of it.

Even as a PM brewer the mill will be a real benefit. If you move on to AG it's practically a necessity.

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Old 02-22-2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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There's also the corona type mill which is the cheapest alternative yet at about 20-40 bucks depending where you look...

It's good enough for Charlie Papazian who gets 87% efficiency with his.

Many of us use them...once you tweak them out they work fine.


Also some people are tricking out a cheap art supply store pasta machine to great results...


There are many options...and you will find adherents to all of them (especially where mills are concerned) Just remember THEY ALL WORK AND THEY ALL MAKE BEER...despite what people may say...
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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I may upgrade at some point but so far my Corona mill mentioned above has worked great.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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I just got a corona style mill and its great. I am still doing extract and grains but its nice to be able to use only as much grain as you need. I was tossing precrushed grains before because I didn't want to use stale ingredients. Now I can save the extra whole grains and crush them when I need them.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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After crushing grains with a rolling pin for about six pm's, I got a Barley Crusher for Christmas, and love it.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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I used to have a Corona mill, and now have a malt mill.
The Corona worked, but it was a PITA to adjust, and it was slow, but it lasted me for about 10 years before I donated it to another brewer.
The malt mill works great. I got the non-adjustable one so no adjustment problems. It is so much faster and has produced an excellent consistent crush for several years now.

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Old 02-23-2009, 02:14 AM   #8
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If you don't have a LHBS available and have to mail order all your grains I would pick up a mill of some kind ASAP. Crushed grains have to deteriorate faster than whole malt.

+1 on the Barley Crusher.
Shorter rollers than the Malt Mill but comes with a larger hopper standard and is easily adjusted.
I'm sure the Malt Mill is a high quality product but the Barley Crusher meets my needs at nicer price.

Make sure you have a decent cordless drill.(you'll only hand crank 12 lbs of grain one time!) Mine's a bit wimpy so I picked up a cheap corded right angle drill that works well
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:07 AM   #9
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I have a Valley Mill, which I understand is no longer available, so I can't really comment on what to get, but I would say that the time to get a mill is when you have gone AG and have decided that this is something you're sure you're going to do regularly. For me this was AG batch #2, but partly because I lucked out and got the mill in an awesome CL score. Even though I didn't plan to buy it (since it came with so much other stuff), in retrospect it was a great thing.

I was at the LHBS the other day picking up a sack of MO. The kind lady rang it up at $107!!! I almost fainted. She saw the look on my face and said "I haven't applied the bulk, unmilled discount yet" and bang it was $53 for 55lbs. At that rate you can see that it's only going to take you a double handful of batches for the mill to have paid you back.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:54 AM   #10
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The Barley Crusher

it's not THAT expensive. I got mine local and it was the same price after tax.

with a drill i can crush 10lb of grain in under 2 minuites, so it works out pretty well

fully adjustable and easy to figure out. I think it's worth the extra money over the corona style mills, and you will save the money in the first 10 brews by just buying a bag of rahr 2 row instead of base malts from other sources bit by bit

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